Space industry exec at Destin meeting: “you’ve got to have world-class public education in this region and a real strong concentration on STEM”

The Northwest Florida Daily News reported on a Destin meeting of the Aerospace Alliance, an industry group representing Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The story quoted David Trent, the site director for Airbus Americas Engineering in Mobile:

“The question is always where is the workforce coming from, and I can’t stress enough this idea of you’ve got to have world-class public education in this region and a real strong concentration on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). If we don’t have that, we’ll never set up this generational pool to take care of our workforce.

“There are more jobs in aviation than engineers and pilots, without question,” he added. “Even in the commercial airline business there are hundreds of positions. A lot of these jobs are technically based and require some passion for STEM, so I want to encourage this organization to push STEM education.”

On a less cheery note, the News quoted retired General Barry McCaffrey:

“The space program is a disaster,” McCaffrey said during a press conference at the summit. “I would argue right now we’re No. 2 in space. The Russians are in a slight lead. We’ve got to do something about it.”

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